In a sense, “Permaculture” is a critique of the “sustainability” paradigm, which asks: “How can we change the destructive systems we use to meet our needs, so that we can sustain them into the future?”
Instead, Permaculture asks: “how can we design new systems to meet our needs that actually benefit the earth, our ecologies and our communities, so that we actually grow heathier, wealthier and wiser over time?”
It asks us to look at our own needs and how we’re meeting them, and imagine new, better ways.
For most of us, that path starts in the garden, which is an excellent place to begin. After all, our food system is arguably the most unsustainable aspect of our society, being the biggest destroyer of soil, the largest consumer of fossil fuels, the biggest contributor to carbon and methane pollution, the number one cause of deforestation, habitat loss and ecosystem decline, as well as one of the largest measures of social inequality. So changing the way we get our food can have a massive positive impact.
Perhaps even more importantly, gardening can be the gateway to better understanding of nature. For most gardeners, growing food puts us in conflict with nature as we fight against the microbial diseases, pests, and weeds that are natural parts of our ecosystem to grow plants from distant climates poorly suited to our local conditions. By asking us to change our attitute to cooperate with nature, Permaculture gardening begins to change this most basic attitude of war with nature that characterizes almost every aspect of our society, medicine, clothing, housing, work, and so on.
So, here are some articles on Permaculture ways we can bring mother nature back into the garden, make her a welcome guest, and even put her to work on our side!
What is Permaculture?